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Hillhead Primary School - Newsletter

MAY 2005

Dear Parent,

A busy term lies ahead for staff and pupils at Hillhead. This is always an exciting term with something to appeal to everyone. A diary at the end of this newsletter gives dates for some of the term’s main events.

Mrs Harper the teacher in the nursery has taken up a post at Crossroads Primary School. She startsher duties there on Monday 16th May. There is currently a staffing shortage in Caithness and this has resulted in Mrs Harper’s move. We are fortunate that Mrs Audrey Mackay, ably assisted by Mrs Banks and Mrs Muffett remain to continue the good service provided by the nursery. At the moment we are unsure if Mrs Harper will return but I will keep you informed of any developments within the nursery through the monthly newsletter. We thank Mrs Harper for her good service to the nursery and wish her well in her future teaching career be it elsewhere or at Hillhead.

Parents will all have received a parent questionnaire which asks about a variety of school related items. A good number of you have returned this already. Many thanks to all those who did respond. It is important to get as high a return rate as possible. If you have not yet responded then we would be very grateful if you could find a few minutes to fill in and return the questionnaire Parents will be notified of the results before the end of term.

A group of 22 primary 7 Pupils leave for their week long visit to York on Monday 9th May, returning on the following Friday evening. Mr Henderson, Mrs Harper (from the nursery) and myself will all accompany the trip. Visits will include the Jorvik museum in York, Yorkminster, The Deep Aquarium in Hull and the Flamingoland theme park.

Pupils in the nursery, Primary 2 and Primary 5 have been trying to make the traffic lights stay green. The school has purchased three sets of special classroom traffic lights, which show the levels of noise in a classroom. Green is good, amber is getting a bit noisy and red is too noisy. We hope that they will be successful in controlling noise in the classrooms in an unobtrusive way. If your child is in one of these classes then do ask them about how the traffic lights are.

Senior pupils have the opportunity to visit a gallery bus which the school has booked for Tuesday 17th May. The pupils will visit this touring gallery which contains work by a number of artists which all have a common theme of “still life”.

Primary 6 and 7 pupils had a very enjoyable experience on Friday 29th April. They worked with the Eden court drama worker Lorna Sutherland and the actor Dominic Rickhards to each put on a performance of Macbeth. Mr Rickhards had previously worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as a number of television roles including one in Coronation Street.

I am told by reliable sources within the staff that when Jim McDonald was injured in a building site accident, he had to be treated by a physiotherapist. This medical worker subsequently eloped with his wife, Liz McDonald. Mr Rickhards was that man. However almost by way of compensation for this despicable unprofessional act, he is now doing fine community service by working with groups of school children such as those at Hillhead last Friday. He was excellent and the pupils really enjoyed the activity. Lorna Sutherland will be running a drama class for Primary 6 and 7 pupils after school on Mondays, commencing May 16th.

Whilst attempting to contact schools across the world for our New year card exchange, I made a number of links with schools abroad. One of these is Kipturi School in Kenya. Kipturi school is a rural school in Nyanza province just south of the Sahara desert. It is a very poor rural area. The school is made from mud walls and has a tin roof. It caters for 135 pupils aged from nursery to Year 8. The teacher who replied to me was Odiambo Ngesa – the teacher in the school responsible for computing. To house a computer, the school hopes to be able to buy a metal container which they will use for this and as a library for the pupils.

Firstly however Mr Ngesa must undergo computer training and it appears that the individual schools in Kenya are responsible for this funding. They have asked for any assistance we can offer in respect for this. Each part of training costs £300 and I suggested that Hillhead could perhaps raise £100 towards this. Mr Ngesa suggested we could sell Kenyan stamps to assist with fundraising and has sent me over 100 stamps for this purpose. We have made rather attractive stamp badges and these will be on sale in the school from Monday 9th May.

A small badge will be priced at 30p and a large one at 50p. More can be donated if you wish. Hopefully these badges will become as much of a fashion statement as coloured wristbands currently are.

Primary 1 pupil Stephanie Leith models some of the Kenyan stamps for us.

I think this will be a useful link for Hillhead and the pupils of Kipturi. I hope in time to initiate a number of exchanges with them based around a variety of items. I think this is a link which our pupils could gain a great deal from in the longer term.

We continue to try and show pictures of pupils in the local press on our pupil Notice board. A number of cuttings have been spotted recently. Jamie Howden and Robbie Davis had their photo taken at the Spring Fair. Primary 5 pupils Kimberly Lewis and Cassandra Henderson appeared in an article about the shadow puppet theatre which visited the school two weeks ago. Primary 6 pupil Ryan Sinclair appeared in an action shot from the Caithness rugby sevens competition. Primary 5 pupil Ryan Aitken also appeared in a rugby picture when he won the Primary 4/5 man of the match award at the recent rugby tournament.

A number of Hillhead pupils took part in the recent Golspie Swimfest. Primary 5 pupil Erin Mackay won two golds and a fourth place. Robyn Hughes, Rona Plowman, Rachel Munro and Alan McGee also won medals. Alan, Laura Hughes, Lauren Sinclair and Rona Plowman were all part of winning relay teams.

Kyle Gunn appeared in the press by having the honour of throwing the first jack of the season at the Rosebank Bowling Club.

All children in Primaries 1 to 7 will now have received their Book Banks. They are intended to encourage pupils to read for pleasure. Do encourage your child to participate in this scheme which will be so beneficial to them.

An order form for school uniforms will accompany this letter as we often get a large number of orders in the last few days of this term. If we get some advance warning of your needs we will be better able to meet them.

Sisters Jasmin (Primary 4) and Oceanne Camus (Primary 6) are delighted at the arrival of their new baby sister Nina. She arrived weighing 7lb 1oz early on Friday 29th April. Big sister Jasmin says “She is a happy baby, she hardly ever cries”

May 13th 11.30am Nursery pupils and parents have a come and try session at the school canteen.
May 26th, 27th and 28th Continental market visits Wick
Monday 6th June – Friday 10th June: – Music Festival Week
Monday 6th June Report cards will be given out
Saturday 11th June 2pm Hilllhead 5 a side football competition at school involving Hillhead house teams and small country schools.
Tuesday 14th June 7.00pm Parent evening for new Primary 1 pupils in session 2005-2006.
Parents Evenings Wednesday 15th June 6.00pm – 9.00pm
Thursday 16th June 3.30 –6.00pm (parents will be able to opt in to the date which best suits them)
Friday 17th June Nursery pupils to Primary 1 for morning 10.00 – 12noon. (Details will follow)
Monday 20th June 1.40pm Senior Sports (Primary 4 to 7) (in the event of rain this event will take place the following day)
Wednesday 22nd June 1.40pm Infant Sports (Nursery to Primary 3)
Friday July 1st School closes at midday.

Yours faithfully

A Budge